Tennis pros such as Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Holger Ron will move into hotel rooms for German under-21 footballers next week. In preparation for the decisive European Championship qualification match, footballers are staying in a sports hotel next to the majestic tennis court where the most important tournament in grass in Germany will be held from Monday after next. The spirit of great athletes such as Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal lives in this hotel. That should be enough inspiration to fight for the last missing point to qualify for the U-21s on Friday at Osnabrück against Hungary (6.15pm, Saturday 1) or on Tuesday at ód against Poland (6pm, Pro 7 Maxx). – European Summer Championship 2023 in Romania and Georgia.
The street leading to the tennis court is called Roger-Federer-Allee, and even if Germany currently has a strong Under-21 football team again, it is unlikely that this street will eventually turn into Ansgar-Knauff-Weg and Jonny-Burkardt- Straße, Jamie-Leweling-Allee or Angelo-Stiller-Boulevard. They are very fond of tennis in Halle/Westphalia for that. Of course, the popularity of this football talent already indicates that qualifying for the European Under-21 Championship and defending the title won there in 2021 does not seem entirely impossible.
After their successful seasons, Bochum’s Armel Bella Kochap, Gladbach’s Luka Nietz, or Schalke’s Malik Thiau are advised in the defensive series, while RB Leipzig’s Tom Krause, who was last loaned to Nuremberg, or Hoffenheim’s Angelo Stiller are available in the line. the middle. The attack with Jimmy Loehling of Fürth, who goes to Union Berlin, Jonathan Burckhardt of Mainz and Ansgar Knauf of Frankfurt, who won the Europa League, is particularly impressive.
Since these players already technically and physically have almost all the requirements of modern football, under-21 coaches like to focus on tactical and mental development. In East Westphalia, for example, a meeting has been scheduled this week on virtues and values, on the factors that will decide the game if the team wants to have a say in the fight for the trophy in the European Championship in a year’s time.
After losing against the Poles, de Salvo increased his intensity
This U21 team recently witnessed how quickly an already superior team could feel embarrassed when they lost 4-0 to Poland in November. “After this match, we clearly addressed some things. We learned our lessons, increased intensity in subsequent matches and achieved better running values,” says Antonio de Salvo, national under-21 coach. As a result, the team won 4-0 against San Marino, 4-0 against Latvia and 1-0 in Israel and did not concede any goal. “They are constantly improving,” Di Salvo says of his players and is happy that qualification for the European Championship is imminent.
In October, he took over as coach of the team, succeeding coach Stefan Koontz, and is now the coach of the Turkey national team. Having led the U21s to three consecutive European Championship finals and two of them (2017 and 2021) to the title, it could look awkward if Di Salvo doesn’t at least lead them to the European Championship finals. But since he has been with the Under-21 team for a long time as a former assistant coach, he knows how much motivation and mentality have contributed to the success of this team in particular. Koontz was a professor of these disciplines, and de Salvo must have copied some things.
He was even more surprised that Bayern Munich’s rising striker Malik Tillmann had just decided to play for the USA and his father’s country. “It’s a shame because Malik scored important goals for us and could have been a problem for the German first team,” Di Salvo said. “But you can also understand him when the American first team is tempting and he might be able to play with them in the Qatar World Cup.” This acceleration trajectory is deprived of German under-21 talent. Your ambitions focus more on the 2026 World Cup in North America.